Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Anglo-Sikh Wars Museum: stolen pistols yet to be traced


The four battles, which the Sikhs fought with the East India Company army at Ferozeshah, Moodkee, Sobraon and Chellianwala in quick succession, were known for the exemplary bravery shown by the Sikhs.

The valour shown by Sikh soldiers of the Khalsa army under odd, inhospitable and unfavourable circumstances during these battles got them huge appreciation and recognition from the then officers of the British army.

However, what has disappointed people across Punjab is the fact that the authorities have failed to trace two pistols, which were used during an Anglo-Sikh war and were stolen from the local museum, a few years ago.

The Punjab government established a museum, in connection with the relics of the Anglo-Sikh war, on the bank of Rajasthan Feeder and Sirhind Feeder canals. A large number of hand-held weapons, including swords, fire arms, muskets and other war gear, have been preserved in the museum for posterity.

A criminal case was registered against Pritam Singh, Balwinder Singh, residents of Faridkot and Moga districts respectively in Ghal Khurd police station on June 4, 2006, in connection with the theft of two pistols, on the written complaint of the then director, cultural affairs, Punjab.

A challan in connection with this case was presented in a Ferozepur court on December 20, 2007, against Pritam, Balwinder, Bikkar Singh, Balbir Singh and Jagsir Singh by police authorities.

Though these accused were still being tried in the court of law, the authorities could not recover the pistols, used in the Anglo-Sikh war.

No senior functionary of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Punjab, could be contacted for their comments despite repeated efforts, SSP, Ferozepur, Kaustab Sharma, said he would check the status of the case first.

A senior official of the Punjab Government while pleading anonymity said the functionaries of the Department of Cultural Affairs had shown little interest in the case and hence recovery of relics could not be made.

Chander Parkash, Tribune News Service, Ferozeshah, March 29

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